Friday, April 15, 2011

homage (part 2)

Such love constrains me to answer his call,
follow his leading, and give him my all.

O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to thee,
for thou in thine atonement didst give thyself for me.
-Thomas Chisholm

2. Worship is a response.

Worship begins when our hearts are moved by knowledge of God and knowledge of what God has done.  Once we know these things, there should be such fervor in our hearts that we have no choice but to allow each corner of our lives to be changed and refined and dedicated to God's glory.

Worship doesn't start with us.  It doesn't happen at our initiative.

When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to watch much television, which was located either in my parents' bedroom or in the living room.  So, in an effort to be informed enough to have conversations with people under the age of 45, I got my hands on a 5-inch black and white for my bedroom.  My life changed immediately.

Of the shows that were available in the realm of mid-90s broadcast TV (Married...With Children, Seinfeld, Friends, News Radio) the one that seemed to be on most late at night was Roseanne.  I wasn't a huge fan, but it was eye-opening.  And, being someone that has always liked great quotes, it provided plenty of ammunition like this:

D.J. Conner: [confronted about why he has been sneaking off to church] Mom, I wanted to tell you. I just had some questions about God and stuff.
Roseanne Conner: Well, so why didn't you come to us if you had questions? You know, there's no two better people to answer your questions than me and your Dad.
D.J. Conner: Okay. What religion are we?
Roseanne Conner: I have no idea. Dan?
Dan Conner: Well... my family's Pentecostal on Mom's side, Baptist on my Dad's. Your Mom's Mom was Lutheran and her Dad was Jewish.
D.J. Conner: So what do we believe?
Roseanne Conner: Well... we believe in, ah, being good. So basically we're good people.
Dan Conner: Yeah, but we're not practicing.

Unbeknownst to the Conners, worship isn't really something practiced as much as it's something that pours out of the redeemed life. It's not that we just decide to worship, but it's something we can't help doing because of the radical change taking place in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I recently read something someone had written that said something to this effect: "Great worship really gets me going."

I'm not going to discredit that sort of statement, because I bet it comes out of an authentic encounter with Christ, but instead of "worship gets me going," I think it would be more accurate to say "the love of Christ and what he has done gets me going so that I can't help but worship."  I know, I know, it's not as pithy or succinct and it doesn't sound as cool, but I think that's the way the equation has to be. 

God revelation + my reception = a life bowed before the throne; or, a life of worship.

If you have experienced God's call on your life and have responded in faith, you have already begun worshiping.  Do that again and again each day - at church, at home, at school, at work or anywhere else - and it will become a lifestyle.  


  1. re: "Great worship gets me going..." Well, great *music* can "get me going," but I don't confuse my pleasure in great music with worship. We need to realize (and teach) that the emotional response provoked by inspiring art, while pleasurable, is not synonymous with worship, or with the presence of God's spirit. Not to denigrate either, but they are NOT synonymous.

  2. Excellent point, Dan, but I will wade into that point soon.